Las Vegas

Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love Las Vegas

Overlooking view of the city lights in Las Vegas Strip
The gorgeous Las Vegas Strip shines bright at night. (photo: Randy Andy / Shutterstock)

Why We Love Las Vegas: Las Vegas, known for being the entertainment capital of the world, has an incredible amount of things to do and see. While in Vegas, you can eat at some of the best restaurants, get lucky with gambling, and enjoy a large variety of nightlife. There are hundreds of hotels to choose from, each with a variety of unique amenities. Visiting Las Vegas is a wonderful experience, and many frequently return because there is always something new and exciting to do.

Best of Las Vegas

Things to Do

The author posing for a photo with a mural in Las Vegas Arts District on her background
Our local writer, Isabelle, posing with cool art murals found in the Las Vegas Arts District.

Las Vegas has an endless amount of things to do ranging from glamorous nightlife to beautiful wilderness:

  • Las Vegas Boulevard – Walk the Strip while seeing iconic sights like the Bellagio Fountains and the Las Vegas Sign. 
  • Area 15 – An immersive art experience with unique bars, events, and activities.
  • Arts District – Lovely murals, thrift stores, trendy bars, and monthly art festivals.
  • Fremont Street Experience – Bright light shows, nightly entertainment, and a variety of places to drink and gamble.
  • Red Rock Canyon – Hike or take a scenic drive in the beautiful red-tinted mountains, home to tortoises and other wildlife.

👉 Explore all things to do in Las Vegas

🗺️ Where to Stay

The Strip is the primary hub for Vegas visitors, but there are several areas to stay for a variety of preferences:

  • The Strip – Stay in the heart of Las Vegas, surrounded by more nightlife and entertainment than you could imagine.
  • Summerlin – Bring your family here for a fun time at the movies, ballpark, and arcade.
  • Henderson – Enjoy gambling and great hotels while also being close to many great hikes, swimming spots, and parks.

👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in Las Vegas.

Aerial view of the buildings in Las Vegas Strip with lights at night
The beautiful Las Vegas Strip at night. (photo: Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock)

🛎️ Best Hotels

The Bellagio Hotel with lights at night and a water fountain on its foreground
Hourly fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel. (photo: somchaij / Shutterstock)

With hundreds of options to choose from, there is no shortage of hotels in Las Vegas. Here are some of the best:  

  • The Cosmopolitan – One of the most glamorous hotels on the Las Vegas Strip with many fine dining options and fun places to grab drinks.
  • Bellagio – An iconic hotel known for its entertaining fountain shows, gorgeous botanical gardens, and luxurious hotel rooms.
  • Red Rock Casino –  A great family hotel with bowling, an arcade, and even a place to watch the kids while you go out. 

🍽️ Restaurants

Las Vegas is a great place for foodies, as it has a variety of celebrity chef restaurants and also many unique dining experiences:  

  • Restaurant Guy Savoy – Celebrity Chef Guy Savoy owns the best restaurant in Las Vegas. It tends to be very pricey, but expect one of the best meals of your life.
  • Blackout Dining in The Dark – A one-of-a-kind dining experience where you rely only on your tastebuds while you try delicious meals.
  • Holsteins – With incredible burgers and crazy milkshakes at The Cosmopolitan, this place is both affordable and unique.
  • Esther’s Kitchen – A cozy yet amazing Italian restaurant that Las Vegas local, Chef James Trees, owns.
  • Cleaver – Dine off of the Strip at a classic steakhouse with an all-night happy hour. 

🍽️ Read the full list of best restaurants in Las Vegas.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas signage with neon lights
The Cosmopolitan is home to Holsteins, one of the best restaurants in Vegas (photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)

🚗 Day Trips

Scenic view from the Grand Canyon in Las Vegas
Amazing views from the Grand Canyon.

For a change of scenery, take a day trip to one of the many must-see attractions near Vegas:

  • Grand Canyon – Travel to Grand Canyon’s west rim for hiking, ziplining, or rafting in one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
  • Hoover Dam – Tour the powerplant which helps fuel power to Las Vegas and surrounding areas.
  • Valley of Fire – Get lost in the wilderness with lovely hikes and scenic drives through the stunning red mountains.
  • Lake Las Vegas – Eat a delicious meal after a day of enjoying fun watersports and outdoor activities.
  • Mount Charleston – Explore the mountains while hiking, skiing, sledding, or simply cozying up in their lodge. 

👉 Discover the best day trips from Las Vegas.

🏘️ Neighborhoods

Neon signs in Fremont Street Experience at night in Downtown Las Vegas
The Fremont Street Experience in Downtown Las Vegas.

The Strip is Las Vegas’ most famed place to stay, but there are several neighborhoods that accommodate all types of travelers: 

  • The Strip – Las Vegas’ main attraction is also the top place for visitors to stay. Hotels, restaurants, clubs, and more are all within walking distance.
  • Downtown Las Vegas – Home to the classic hotels and casinos of Las Vegas, where you will also find Fremont Street and lots of excellent nightlife. 
  • Arts District – A trendy art district with museums, hip bars, antique shops, and monthly festivals.
  • Summerlin – A Las Vegas local area where you can enjoy shopping, dining, and baseball games with your family.
  • Chinatown – As a commercial-only area, there are extraordinary bars, restaurants, and even a community theater.

👉 Read the full lists of the best neighborhoods in Las Vegas or the best suburbs of Vegas.

🍸 Bars

View of a staircase going to the The Chandelier bar
Steps leading to The Chandelier bar. (photo: RYO Alexandre / Shutterstock)

Sip cocktails and craft spirits at some of the trendiest bars in Las Vegas: 

  • The Chandelier – Indulge yourself at this great three-level bar inside a 44-foot-tall chandelier, found in The Cosmopolitan. Drinking here is one of the best things to do in the USA this summer!
  • The Laundry Room – This reservations-only bar is hidden somewhere inside Commonwealth, and has handcrafted cocktails by its own mixologist. 
  • Velveteen Rabbit – Creative cocktails inside a bar filled with art, vintage furniture, and a lovely outdoor area.
  • Oak & Ivy – Whiskey lovers can’t miss this bar, which is completely inspired by whiskey, but still has drinks for everyone’s taste.
  • The Phoenix Bar & Lounge – Dance, play games, and sing karaoke at this LGBT bar just off the Strip.

🍸 Read my full list of the best bars in Las Vegas.

🖼️ Museums

Pinball machines inside the Pinball Hall of Fame
Rows upon rows of pinball machines at the Pinball Hall of Fame. (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

Explore interactive exhibits and enjoy photo opportunities at some of Vegas’ most interesting museums: 

  • Neon Museum – Explore the history of Vegas’ iconic neon signs and pose for photos along the way. Visit at night to see them all lit up.
  • Madame Tussauds – Visit your favorite celebrities at this lifelike wax museum with attractions like 4D movies and movie-themed bars.
  • Mob Museum – The world of organized crime largely influenced Las Vegas. At this museum, you will feel like you are a part of it.
  • Atomic Museum – Learn all about nuclear weapons and their impact not only in Nevada but around the world.
  • Pinball Hall of Fame – One of the world’s largest pinball machine collections, where you can also play on any of the machines you see.

🍺 Breweries

View of the entrance to CraftHaus Brewery.
Entrance to CraftHaus Brewery. (photo: Kit Leong / Shutterstock)

Sample craft beer at celebrated Vegas breweries. Each offers a fun, laid-back ambiance, and several feature food menus and weekly events: 

  • HUDL Brewing Company – A craft brewery where you will want to socialize, drink beer, and maybe even order BBQ to your table.
  • CraftHaus Brewery – A great place to enjoy quality beer and build your own flights to figure out which ones you like the best.
  • Able Baker Brewing – Step into the Atomic Age at this brewery where you will find handcrafted beers and great food options.
  • Astronomy Aleworks – A science fiction-themed brewery that features unique beers and weekly events like trivia nights.
  • Chicago Brewing Company – Here, you will find a cigar lounge, an outdoor beer garden, a large food menu, and craft pours for every season.

🍺 See the full list of best breweries in Las Vegas.

🕺 Nightclubs

The OMNIA Nightclub from the outside at night
The beautiful outdoor terrace at OMNIA Nightclub. (photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)

Known for its nightlife, Las Vegas is home to some of the world’s best clubs:  

  • XS Nightclub – Incredible gold decorations and famous DJ performances every weekend are part of the reason this is the best nightclub in the U.S.
  • Drai’s – With some of the best hip-hop artists performing live weekly, Drai’s is a super fun club with an indoor and outdoor section.
  • OMNIA – A massive chandelier moves to the beat of the music which plays through the highest technology speaker system.
  • TAO – Depending on what kind of music you like, there are different rooms with different music to suit everyone’s needs.
  • Light – Feel as if you are in a show with live aerial acrobatics, gorgeous costumes, and exciting visuals.

🕺 Read the full list of best clubs in Vegas.

🎭 Shows

A statue at the entrance of O Theater at the Bellagio.
Entrance to the O Theater at the Bellagio. (photo: Kobby Dagan / Shutterstock)

As the entertainment capital of the world, it comes as no surprise that Vegas hosts a variety of premier performances, including:  

  • “O” by Cirque Du Soleil – Synchronized swimmers, acrobats, and divers come together to give a performance like nothing you’ve ever seen.
  • Michael Jackson ONE – Pay tribute to the king of pop by experiencing his music live combined with incredible acrobatics and dancers.
  • Beatles LOVE – Experience enchanting stunts done on roller skates, trampolines, and in the air, all set to The Beatles soundtrack.
  • iLuminate – Immerse yourself in the world of dancing, illusions, comedy, and great music at this amazing show.
  • Opium – An out-of-this-world show that features a story set in space. This unique storyline makes for a very entertaining night out.

🚌 Tours

A red Big Bus during a tour in Las Vegas
Join hop-on and off tours during the day at Big Bus Tours. (photo: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock)

From city tours to outdoor excursions, local guides are ready to show you the best of Las Vegas:

  • Big Bus Night Tour – Tour the Las Vegas Strip at night and get off on Fremont Street to see the free light shows.
  • Secret Food Tours – A walking food tour that takes you to sample different celebrity-chef restaurants and shops.
  • Cowboy Trail Rides – Go horseback riding through Red Rock Canyon and watch the gorgeous sunsets while ending with delicious barbeque.
  • Las Vegas Club Crawl – Check out some of the best Vegas clubs and bars while riding in a limousine and meeting new people.
  • Grand Celebration Tour – Take a helicopter to see places like the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Grand Canyon. You will also enjoy a lovely picnic on this tour.

🥾 Hikes

A hot springs at the end of Arizona Hot Springs Trail
Beautiful hot springs at the end of the Arizona Hot Springs Trail.

Away from casinos and city lights, you’ll find stunning hiking trails with picturesque scenery: 

  • Ice Box Canyon – Found in a cooler part of Red Rock Canyon, this tough hiking trail features seasonal waterfalls.
  • Arizona Hot Springs – A difficult hike where at the end, you get to unwind and soak in natural hot springs.
  • Fire Wave – Discover plenty of photo opportunities on this short, easy hike through red and pink-tinted sandstone.
  • Historic Railroad Trail – Hike through old railroad tunnels and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Mead along the way. You can also find good places to go camping near Vegas around Lake Mead.
  • Calico Tank – This somewhat challenging hike in Red Rock Canyon takes you through a variety of stunning scenery and wildlife.

🥾 Read the full list of best hikes near Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

As part of the Nevada desert, Las Vegas does not typically get a lot of rain or snow. However, during the summer, the heat can sometimes be unbearable:

  • 🌼 Spring –  The best time of the year to visit, with great weather that is perfect for exploring Las Vegas in comfort.
  • 🍂 Fall –  Enjoy sunny, perfect weather at this time of year. Try hiking, pumpkin picking, or horseback riding.
  • 🌞 Summer – Extremely hot and dry, so be sure to hydrate. This is a good time to visit for pool parties, fireworks, and discounted hotel rooms though.
  • ❄️ Winter –  Vegas winters can get very cold, but many people come for New Year’s celebrations and to see the holiday lights and decorations.

🚌 Getting Around

Las Vegas tends to get very crowded and busy, which can sometimes make getting around stressful. Here are some tips on how to get from place to place:

  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – Walking is common in areas like Downtown Las Vegas or the Strip. It is not as common to walk much anywhere else in Vegas.
  • 🚗 Driving – Unless you plan to take a day trip from Las Vegas, rental cars are not recommended while visiting. 
  • 🚇 Public Transit – The public buses are the cheapest option for getting around, and they stop all along different areas of the Strip.
  • 📲 Ride Share – If you are going to the Strip, rideshares are your best option because the streets are hectic and hard to navigate if you are not familiar with the area.
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – Commonly, you will see bikers in areas like Red Rock Canyon, Summerlin, and Henderson.

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 🏦 – Don’t Use Casino ATMs – ATM fees can be expensive and it is best to get your cash somewhere else before heading to the casino.
  • 🆙 – Ask for Complimentary Upgrades – Oftentimes, if you ask for an upgrade, hotels will give it to you as long as they have something available.
  • 💧 – Stay Hydrated – Combined with alcohol and the desert, walking around can lead to extreme hydration. Be sure to bring water everywhere.
  • 📱 – Book in Advance – Book hotels, restaurants, and activities in advance because Las Vegas is almost always filled with visitors.
  • 🆔 – Bring Your ID Everywhere – Many of the activities in Las Vegas are adult-only, and they are very strict about identification, so do not forget it in the room.

🧳 What to Pack

  • 👟 – Comfortable Shoes – You are likely to do a lot of walking while visiting, so comfort is important to making the most of your time.
  • 👗 – Fancy Outfit – If you plan to visit a nightclub, many of them will not let you in wearing sneakers, ripped jeans, or shirts with no collars.
  • 🧴 – Sunscreen – Sunscreen is very important in protecting your skin from the harsh desert sun.
  • 🧥 – Light Jacket – No matter how hot it is outside, the casinos are always pretty chilly so light jackets are advised to stay warm.
  • 👙 – Bathing Suit – Whether you want to swim at the awesome hotel pools or take a dip in the hot springs, a bathing suit is a must when traveling to Vegas.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Census Population (2020) – 641,903 (city), 2.84 million (metro area)
  • Time Zone – Pacific Time (UTC -8 / UTC -7 during daylight savings)
  • Area Codes – 702, 725
  • Airports – Harry Reid International Airport (LAS)
  • Nickname – Sin City
  • Demonynm – Las Vegan
  • StateNevada
  • CountryUnited States of America

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $130-200/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $200-350/night
  • Rental Car – $40-80/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – ~$6-8 
  • Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $25-40
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $25-40
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $55-200
  • Draft Beer – $6-10

FAQs About Visiting Las Vegas

Is Las Vegas safe for tourists?

Las Vegas is safe for tourists as long as you stay in populated and common areas. The largest danger of visiting Las Vegas tends to be the heat and risk of dehydration. Be sure to drink lots of water and cool off inside whenever it is needed.

What month is the best to visit Las Vegas?

The best months to visit Las Vegas are March, April, October, and November. These are the months with the best weather, so you can do a lot of walking and activities without overheating.

What is the cheapest month to go to Vegas?

The cheapest month to go to Vegas is in January, because flights and hotels are often much cheaper due to the cold weather.

What is the 20-dollar trick in Vegas?

The 20-dollar trick in Vegas is when you are checking into a hotel, you give the front desk attendant a $20 bill with your cards. You then ask if there are any upgrades available and if they cannot find anything, they will give the money back.

How much money do you need for a day in Vegas?

You will need $250 for a day in Vegas. This is the average daily cost of staying in Las Vegas, which factors in food, hotels, and transportation.

Meet Our Las Vegas Travel Expert

Isabelle Pavese

Isabelle Pavese is a Las Vegas-based writer who loves to travel and explore new places. She tries to take at least two trips a year to places she has never been before. Some of her favorite cities in the world include Rome and San Francisco. Isabelle loves all things food-related and is on a mission to find the best restaurants in Las Vegas!

👉 Read Isabelle’s Articles

📰 Las Vegas Travel Guides

Las Vegas has a variety of fun things to do and day trips to take. Check out our other Las Vegas travel guides:

🗺️ Las Vegas Map